I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

The Need to Trust

A few days ago I received an email from a man who was hesitant to post, afraid that I might share his information. I understand his concern and lack of trust. I could reply only that I never share anything confidential. I also informed him that he could post as anonymous.

Below is part of his response to me. I'd appreciate any of you responding to him on this blog. His final paragraph touched me deeply—and I'm sure some of you can still remember when you took the risk of speaking up.
I'm a young man carrying many scars from my childhood and they affect me more than I would like on a daily basis. Some days are good and some days I wish what happened to me never did. It feels unfair at times that I never asked for this but it happened and now I have to deal with it. I have been through some healing but it seems like there is so much to be dealt with. No one seems to truly understand what I experience and I often feel lonely as a result of it.

I've read many of the posts on your blog and I can relate to some of the men that have been courageous to share their stories, including yourself. I hope to share mine as well. 
My name is Alan and you can use this on your blog as a post if you desire. I guess it would be a start.


Dan said...

I know exactly how you feel.
I just discussed that with my Pastor/ Dr..
Posting can be vulnerable, but I feel safe here knowing that these guys are in the same place I am,
Or they have been in the same place.
Our experiences may be different, but we have similar issues including trust, vulnerabily, etc..
I hope you can feel safe here, and learn to trust us.
I wont always comment on here, but I think doing so helps me heal and others may be able to relate.
You have taken a great step towards healing. Keep going!

Larry Clemson said...

It always took along time for me to really trust new people. Always wondering if they where going to use me or that I would be the door mat again. I finally trusted this amazing girl whom I married. I let her in - She had a great relationship with God & she was "Safe".
We have been married 26 1/2 years. It has been a bumpy road as I started the healing journey. I also have had a couple good friends. One who I was able to share my abuse story with. We worked together as movers as a side job. I started trusting him to hold his end up on a heavy piece of furniture. We would talk about life & stuff & I began trusting him. It takes time to really trust others. It is a good feeling to trust someone else. It also has helped me to trust God. It's like I'm learning to trust. I'm glad I found this blog - I can trust you guys because you can relate to me & my story. I also think it's worth the risk to trust others!

Mark Cooper said...


Thank you for sharing! I attend a recovery group and part of our mantra / agreement that is read weekly says "... You are fully in control of when and how much you share...."

The same is true here. Knowing we have full control over when and how much we share is crucial for those who were victimized as children. When we were children, abuse took choice away from us. Here, we have the freedom and joy of choice!

Thank you again for sharing and for letting us know that you are also on this healing journey!

Roger Mann said...

Alan, welcome, thank you for trusting us with your story. I am honored that you would do so. I know that takes courage. Been there. It took me two years in a group meeting once a week before I trusted those guys with my story. I broke down in the middle just knowing they would not want to have anything to do with me now. When I was finished I was embraced by them all and spent the next two year starting to heal there.

Telling is huge for us. I was indoctrinated NEVER to tell and I kept that secret for decades until he died. Then I told out of anger and that was not the best way. For me healing came when I accepted my story as mine, told the truth and let myself finally begin to grieve the enormous loss that I felt. It was painful but healing is often just that as you probably know.

No it is not fair that someone can do that to a boy, walk away and leave him to deal with the damage for the rest of his life. But regardless of the cards we get deal with, we can still end up with a winning hand if we play them right. Don't give into hate, bitterness and rage. That is like drinking poison and looking for the other guy to get sick. You will make it. You will get your life back once the tough part is over and only you will know when that is. There is hope, it was not your fault, none of it and you are not alone my friend.

just my thoughts


Mark Cooper said...

Roger, this sentence of yours grabbed me ... "For me healing came when I accepted my story as mine, told the truth and let myself finally begin to grieve the enormous loss that I felt."

As I accept more of the facts of my story, I'm realizing I still separate myself from the little boy who was abused. I suppose that's protective compartmentalization. (Wow, that's a BIG word!) I look forward to the day that I'm able to integrate my past experience with who I am now, and grieve those experiences properly.

Alan said...

Thanks Mark, Roger, Larry, and Dan for sharing and encouraging me as well. I appreciate it greatly and I'm comforted knowing that there are men like myself who also have a story and can relate to me as I often feel like the odd egg in the basket.

Thanks Cecil for this blog and for sharing my post. I have decided that I will share my story. Look out for that soon when I get the time to construct it.

Joseph said...

This site has been a great release for me as I journey in recovery. My pastor knows my story--and by the way, it's wonderful to have a pastor whom you trust with your life's story--and several Sundays ago he asked 5 members to give part of their story before the sermon and part after the sermon. I agreed to be one of the 5. And I told the congregation that 60 years ago this summer I was sexually molested by a man. Brothers, it was like the last brick in my walls came down and the dust of shame settled down. I thought, now they know, and if they want to run yelling out the door, let them do so. They didn't, and I didn't expect them to. Several of the women loved on me a bit, but the ones that meant most to me were the men who came up afterwards and gave affirmation.

What really surprised the pastor was that 2 of the women he asked to participate had been sexually abused by a family member. Pastor had confided that 2 others had been molested, so I gave statistics in my concluding part. One of the women was finding relief in her recovery journey, one of the women was still struggling.

John Bixler said...

I've been there too. I remember the first time I told someone, and how much I agonized beforehand (it was an individual counselor). Then I remember how much I mentally fought myself over telling my wife about it.

I gets easier each time I tell someone. I've shared it with a number of others now. Sometimes I wish I could make a very public announcement, as Joseph did, as that would be a very free-ing experience.

I often hear that healing can only take place within the context of a relationship.

Therefore, if you ever want to heal, you must tell someone - otherwise you can never address the issue in a relationship.